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Last Updated 23.02.2020 | 7:57 PM IST
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Cannes Diary: Day 9

The penultimate day of the market....... the township of Cannes is already beginning to resemble a graveyard.... it's my last day in The Palais before I return to London tomorrow after 12 rigorous days of activity..... Besides the Rome Party at The Palais Stephanie and some others by The Croisette, the key event last night was the event "Cinema Against AIDS 2008" to benefit amfAR. The chairs included Kenneth Cole, Patrick Demarchelier, Michel Litvak, Madonna, Carine Roitfeld, Sharon Stone, Harvey Weinstein and Michelle Yeoh. In my opinion, the most interesting announcement of the day came in the form of the gas-rich Gulf state Qatar getting into the international film biz with a film on the 13th century Persian poet, Rumi. Deepak Chopra is the script consultant and Muzaffar Ali will helm the project with Oscar-winning lenser Vittorio Storaro. Seems the flick is being largely funded by the wife of the emir of Qatar. If you've been tracking the preceding diaries, the fact that this was among the slowest Cannes (in terms of business) across the board should be evident. Was it the recession? Was it the dollar exchange? Was it the spasmodic rain? Or was it the glut of product? Deals were closed and new bridges were built but on the whole the market lacked the punch. Scarily enough, for the first time, no US distributor has made a major acquisition. That said, everybody who is anybody was present and a lot of aspiring nobodies too! The overall buzz on the films screened in the competition category was not all that; the exceptions (from the buzz doing the round) appearing to be: Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman), Three Monkeys (Nuri Bilge Ceylan), 24 City (Jia Zhangke), Changeling (Clint Eastwood), Lion's Den (Pablo Trapero), Linha De Passe (Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas), and Gomorrah (Matteo Garrone). As always, it is anybody's guess who will win the Palme D'Or. The verdict will be out this weekend. Till the next edition of the Marche, bien a vous! (Media and international business expert, Tanuj Garg, will do an honorary Cannes 2008 diary for Bollywood Hungama. This will feature periodic updates on the mood and the action on The Croisette over the next fortnight. Tanuj is currently Marketing & Distribution Head for the UK & Europe at Studio 18)

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